Poisons in Our Foods and Environment
Parabens are a group of chemicals commonly used as preservatives to prevent the
growth of bacteria and fungi that are widely used
in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries and typically found in a wide
range of products including shampoos, commercial moisturizers, deodorants, shaving gels, cleansing gels,
personal lubricants, spray tanning solutions and toothpaste, and they are a
commonly used as food additives (E 214-219) and they are also used in topical
and parenteral pharmaceuticals.
While parabens are effective preservatives with a low cost and long history of
relatively safe use they are becoming increasingly controversial and as the
evidence accumulates and arguments between the paraben supporters and the safety
conscious opponents grows, perhaps this is a chemical group we can learn to do
without, as if it has some mild toxic effect, it will be contributing to the
general toxic overload so many suffer from today.
European Research Report
The former EC Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) evaluated the parabens
in 1994 and allocated a temporary group ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) of 0-10
mg/kg bw (milligrams/kilogram body weight), for the sum of methyl, ethyl and
propyl p-hydroxybenzoic acid esters and their sodium salts. Following a request
from the European Commission (EC), EFSA’s AFC Panel re-evaluated the toxicology
of these substances and the safety of their usage in foods taking into account
findings from recent studies. The panel concluded that a group ADI of 0-10 mg/kg
bw could now be established for methyl and ethyl parabens and their sodium
salts. However, the panel considered that propyl paraben should not be included
in this group ADI because this specific paraben, unlike the methyl and ethyl
forms, had effects on sperm production at a relatively low dose in male juvenile
rats. The Panel was unable to recommend an ADI for propyl paraben because of the
lack of a clear NOAEL (No Observed Adverse Effect Level) for this effect.
Read the complete article.
Science Direct Report
toxicity studies in animals indicate that methyl paraben is practically
non-toxic by both oral and parenteral routes. In a population with normal skin,
methyl paraben is practically non-irritating and non-sensitizing. (Science
We think that for human use, practically non toxic is not good enough!!